England land tough World Cup draw
England will face a very tough start to their World Cup campaign as they were drawn against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D. The draw for the 2014 World Cup took place on December 6th and now the Three Lions knows exactly what awaits them.
Roy Hodgon’s England will kick off in the high humidity and heat of Manaus against Italy on June 15th to open their group. That will be a tough encounter between the two European sides in Group D and as with any group openers, it usually going to be a case of avoiding defeat. England will have recent memories of Italy, who they faced at Euro 2012 in the quarter finals when Roy Hodgson’s men were second best throughout the ninety minutes and extra time, before eventually losing on penalties.
Because of the location and heat that is going to be involved for the group opener match, the game is going to be about ball retention, something which England have lacked. After the draw, bookmakers were quick to open their markets, and Bet365 have Italy as 11/8 favourites against England’s price of 2/1 for the match.
The bookmaker also remained a touch pessimistic over England’s chances of just getting out of the group. They are third favourites at 5/2 behind Italy and Uruguay to win their group, as well as sitting as third favourite at 4/6 just to qualify from Group D.
So there is an uphill road ahead of the England, starting with the Italy match, and they will follow that up with a game against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay on the 19th of June before rounding out their group games with a match against Costa Rica. England fell to a defeat against the enterprising Costa Rica in a friendly at Wembley near the end of 2013.
So can England get out of their group?
It does actually look to be the most wide open group in the draw for the World Cup and if England can open with a win, then they will have a big foundation to build on. At the 2010 World Cup England were handed an easy group draw and then struggled to make it out, so perhaps being drawn in such a tough group will see them raise their game. They are going to have to or risk getting brushed aside.
So while there are tough tests ahead in their group, there could be a reward because they will face either Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast or Japan in the first knockout stage, should they get through. So there is an incentive there. If England fans are looking for a big of solace, then the last time England met Uruguay was in the 1966 tournament, when they drew 0-0 before going on to lift the trophy.
2014 World Cup Outright Winner Odds at Bet365
Brazil 3/1, Argentina 9/2, Germany 11/2, Spain 7/1, Belgium 14/1, Colombia 20/1, France 20/1, Uruguay 25/1, Holland 28/1, Italy 28/1, England 33/1